So, those of you who know me personally know I am a planner to my core, and you also know that nothing gets me on the struggle bus faster than an unanticipated change of plans. And that sums up my trip to Florida Supercon this past weekend.
It's just over 2,000 miles from Denver to Miami, and this year we were looking forward to covering that distance in a plane instead of in my car. We woke up early and gathered at DIA on Wednesday, June 28th, where we spent the better part of the day watching our flight get pushed back later and later. No big deal, though; I'd planned for an extra day, so even if we were late leaving, we would still have plenty of time to get to Florida, right? Hahahahaha, wrong. Around 5:00 PM, when we'd been in the airport for 10 hours and watched the pilot and copilot for our flight leave work for the day, I began to realize my plan was unraveling. We decided there was only one option; we would have to make a 30-hour drive in one go.
There, of course, were a few more steps in that decision-making process, including a stop at the baggage claim to pick up my checked bag (which they wouldn't give back at the moment but assured me would be sent on to our hotel in Miami. More on that later.)
After a mad dash back to my house and some poor and hurried packing, Anja, Ashley, and I were in my car heading East. Sure, it was almost 7:00 PM on Wednesday, and we needed to be in Miami by 10:00 AM on Friday, but we were excited about the trip, unreasonably optimistic, and full of caffeine.
I'll spare you the step-by-step progress of our drive across the country. Still, Nashville did not disappoint, and we did almost die on the highway in Music City thanks to a driver who didn't believe in either turn signals or looking out any of the windows in their car. If anyone is keeping score, I'm now six for six near-death experiences in Nashville.
Finally, at 5:00 AM on Friday, June 30th, the ladies and I pulled into our hotel in Miami Beach. After a quick nap, we made a mad dash to the Miami Beach Convention Center and got both booths set up for Florida Supercon.
The convention itself was super fun. I loved seeing all of my Florida friends, and there was a lot of good programming at this year's event. If you can attend Florida Supercon, I highly recommend it, though I might skip the national travel emergency part. That wasn't very fun. Also, I had no luggage. And I could have done a better job packing when we returned to my house to get the car.
Interlude: The Loss & Return of the Flamingo Suitcase
So, I packed two suitcases for this adventure. The first was a carry-on with all of the Siouxsiequeue's merch, and the second was the checked bag which apparently contained my entire life because it was complicated to function without it.
When we first arrived at DIA, I checked my bag and didn't think about it again until later when our flight was canceled, and we were leaving the airport. The woman at the baggage claim desk assured me they would forward my bag to Miami and deliver it to our hotel, so again, I stopped thinking about it. Jeremy would make the necessary calls to get my suitcase routed correctly, and it would be in Florida before we were.
I stopped at the hotel's front desk on our way back from the first day of the show, only to find that my suitcase had yet to be delivered. Not ideal, but not a huge problem. Then the same on Saturday night. That's okay; I can wash my clothes in the sink and use the hair dryer to dry things. Still not ideal, but there weren't a lot of options, so best to keep going. By Sunday, I was starting to crack. I'd been wearing the same jeans since Wednesday; I didn't have my pillow, regular toothbrush, or makeup, and I had worn most of the clean clothes I'd brought.
Once again, Jeremy called the airline, and I arranged with the hotel to forward my luggage back to Colorado if it showed up after we left. That's when we discovered the airline had declared my luggage missing. ARGH! Three days in the car with other people and I have no clean clothes. My attitude went straight into the garbage. I'm sure it was a terrible ride home, with me fretting about replacing the contents of my luggage.
By Tuesday evening, things had deteriorated (on my part) so much Jeremy had to fly to St. Louis, MO, with clean clothes for me and to drive us the rest of the way home. I have never been so happy to see my least favorite pair of jeans in my life!
We finally got back to Colorado in the evening on Wednesday, July 5th, two days later than planned, and there was nothing left to do but get food, get cleaned up, and sleep.
I thought that was the end of this ridiculous saga until yesterday morning when the airline called me to say they found my suitcase and were sending it to Houston, TX, for some reason! Thankfully Jeremy was already on the phone with customer service and told them to leave the suitcase at DIA, and someone would pick it up immediately.
I jumped in the car with my Dad and Uncle and returned to the airport to fetch my suitcase, which was intact! I was so happy I did a little dance at baggage claim.
So here's my take on this long and rambling story:
- I need to learn to roll with the punches better.
- It's just stuff; I need to learn to let go.
- I need more AirTags.
- Don't yell at the gate agents, customer service agents, or baggage claim people (we're looking at you, French Guy). They didn't cause the backup, they don't make the policies, and shouting at those folks never improves the situation.
- The Flight Crew, especially the Flight Attendants, are not just flying waitstaff; they are highly trained safety personnel who serve drinks as a courtesy and as a way to keep an eye on the safety of the passengers during the flight. They are a necessary part of air travel and deserve more respect than you give them, Chad.
- Jeremy has always been and continues to be my hero.
- Extra clothes, meds, toothbrushes, glasses, contacts, and jewelry need to go in the carry-on from now on.
I'd love to hear if you got stuck at the airport this week or about your favorite travel-related mishaps, now on to this week's Friday Mix Tape.
Jeremy and I have satellite radio in the car, so I just set the dial to the New Wave station and let it go, but here are some of my favorites that came on while we were driving across the country.
- The Story of My Life - Social Distortion
- Blue Monday - New Order
- The Passenger - Siouxsie and the Banshees
- Drive - The Cars
- Lost in the Supermarket - The Clash
- Black Coffee in Bed - Squeeze
- Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
- Behind the Wheel - Depeche Mode
- Personality Crisis - New York Dolls
- I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
That's about it for our whirl-wind trip to Florida; now it's time to unpack, do the laundry, rest up, and start planning our New York Comic Con trip in the fall, and as always, we love to hear from you all so don't be strangers!
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